Is Hip Replacement Inevitable?

Is Hip Replacement Inevitable?

Preventing hip pain and alleviating the early symptoms of osteoarthritis can be as simple as stretches, exercise, and over-the-counter medication. However, hip pain is often progressive, worsening as you age. 

A good treatment regimen can postpone the need for a procedure, but it’s important to know when to begin considering a hip resurfacing or total replacement. 

At Orthopaedics of Atlanta and Aesthetic Institute in Atlanta, Georgia, W. Joseph Absi, MD, and his team of professionals can thoroughly evaluate your hip and determine if you’re a candidate for hip replacement or whether another treatment option will better serve your health and mobility needs. 

Understanding hip pain 

The most common cause of hip pain is osteoarthritis (OA), a degenerative condition that causes inflammation. While it’s most often caused by general wear and tear, certain factors can put you at risk of developing hip osteoarthritis earlier in life. These include: 

Early hip pain is often mild and transient, coming and going. You might feel fine but experience stiffness and pain later that same day. 

As the inflammation continues and your hip joint begins to deteriorate, this pain gradually worsens. Treatment can slow OA’s progress and lessen your symptoms, but surgical intervention is sometimes inevitable. 

When to consider surgery 

Hip surgery is a big commitment, but deciding to go through with it might save you pain down the line. Many people postpone their surgeries until they’re absolutely necessary, putting themselves through unnecessary pain and disability in the meantime. 

A hip replacement isn’t your only option, either. While total replacement has its benefits, some patients might benefit more from hip resurfacing, a slightly less invasive procedure. 

Hip replacement 

A total hip replacement involves the removal of the femoral head and acetabulum. These are replaced with a metal ball and socket, separated by a plastic spacer. The plastic improves glide, reduces shock, and prevents ion reactions — which sometimes occur after hip resurfacing. 

Hip resurfacing 

Hip resurfacing is a similar concept to a total replacement. During a traditional hip replacement, the top part of the femur is removed and replaced. A resurfacing caps the femur instead, allowing for a faster recovery and more stable movement. 

This makes it appealing to younger patients who want to maintain a more active lifestyle after surgery. 

To determine whether hip surgery is right for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Absi by calling 404-334-2919, or request an appointment online. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

How to Protect Your Knees When You Work Out

How to Protect Your Knees When You Work Out

Your knees are complex joints that can be prone to injury, even from a simple workout. Learn how to protect your knees while enjoying a strenuous workout with these simple tips from an orthopaedic specialist.
When to See a Doctor for a Sprain

When to See a Doctor for a Sprain

A sprain might seem like a minor thing, but some sprains require medical intervention to heal properly. To learn when it’s time to make a doctor’s appointment, use this guide.
When Does a Meniscus Tear Require Surgery?

When Does a Meniscus Tear Require Surgery?

Do you have a torn meniscus, and you’re wondering whether surgery might be needed? Here, we explain why surgery is often, but not always, the best path forward to restoring pain-free movement in your knee.